Nicaragua: Progress amid Regress?

Issue Date July 2009
Volume 20
Issue 3
Page Numbers 153-167
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This essay examines Nicaragua’s municipal elections of November, 2008 against the backdrop of Daniel Ortega’s return to the nation’s presidency in 2006. While Ortega has engaged in authoritarian practices, municipal-level Sandinista politicians have helped foster a vibrant local democracy. Engaging citizens in local problem-solving, they have dominated municipal elections since 2001, winning most major municipalities again in 2008. Sandinista success has pushed Liberals toward a more policy-oriented versus clientelistic approach to local government and generated a more responsive and competitive municipal politics nation-wide. These developments, contrasted with Ortega’s behavior, indicate that Nicaragua is experiencing progressive and regressive forces in its democratization process.

About the Authors

Leslie E. Anderson

Leslie E. Anderson is University of Florida Research Foundation Professor.

View all work by Leslie E. Anderson

Lawrence C. Dodd

Lawrence C. Dodd holds the Manning J. Dauer Eminent Scholar Chair in Political Science at the University of Florida.

View all work by Lawrence C. Dodd